temples: "In creation and in ritual, the Hebrew language was considered by Jewish mystics as playing a role much more important than the common communicative one that language regularly plays. It was the main instrument of the creation of the world, and it is the vessel that is prepared by man to contain the divine light that is attracted therein in order to experience an act of union or communication. In both cases, the letters do not serve, in any way, as a channel of transmitting meaning; too powerful an instrument, the letters are conceived of as creative elements that enable different types of communication, averbal ones, that accomplish much more than merely conveying certain trivial information. Letters are regarded as stones, as full-fledged entities, as components intended to build up an edifice of words to serve as a temple for God and a place of encountering him for the mystic....As God was able to create a world by means of letters, man is supposed to rebuild the Temple in his ritual usage of language. M. Idel, "Reification of Language in Jewish Mysticism." In, S.T. Katz, editor, Mysticism and Language. New York, 1992.

language comprehension: Wernicke's area, a supplementary-auditory module in the left temporal lobe, is identified as involved in the understanding of auditory words. Damage to this area (called Wernicke's aphasia) produces problems in deciphering the meanings of the speech sounds one hears (even of one's own speech).

which side: "On one extreme, there is the 'demonic' or evil visitor, and on the other extreme, there are more angelic visitors. It depends on which emotional center (amygdala), left or right, is more active. If the negative one (meaning the one that supports fear) is more active, the visitor experience will become a visitation by a demon, Satan, or a terrifying ghost. On the other extreme, it could be an angel, a spirit protector, or even God." T. Murphy, "How the Brain Creates the Experience of God." http://www.jps.net/brainsci/#articles

hippocampus: "Tucked under the inner wall of the temporal lobe of the neocortex, the hippocampus is one of the oldest cortical structures. Its main function seems to be the consolidation of declarative memory--memories that are fundamentally relational and multidimensional, as opposed to procedural memory, whose repetitive movements, "dedicated and inflexible...cannot be manipulated or used in novel circumstances," H. Eichenbaum and T. Otto, "The Hippocampus-What Does It Do?" Behavioral and Neural Biology 57 (1992). p.7. See: http://web.pdx.edu/~pdx00282/skull-1/pre-1.htm

stuttering: "The stutterers had a much larger and more symmetric planum temporale, a region in Wernicke's area associated with language and music processing, the team reports in the July issue of Neurology. Ordinarily, this feature juts out more on the left side in right-handers. Stutterers also had more folds on the brain surface in Broca's area, which Foundas suggests could disrupt connections between the auditory and motor areas of the brain. Several other, more subtle differences also set the stutterers apart. But "there was not one distinct feature across all stutterers," (neurologist Anne) Foundas (at Tulane University Health Science Center in New Orleans, Louisiana) says. Rather, each stutterer had an average of four unusual features, while nonstutterers tended to have only one." http://sciencenow.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/2001/725/2

a stutterer: The story goes that when Moses was still an infant, Pharaoh suspected that the child would someday threaten his power. So he put him to a test. Pharaoh placed a tray to either side of the infant. One contained jewels, the other glowing coals. If Moses chose the jewels he would would put to death. Of course the infant instinctively reached for the sparkling spangles. But an angel interceded, and at the last moment Moses's mind was changed: he grabbed for the hot coals, and, as a child would, put them in his mouth. He lived to lead his people out of slavery, but his became of life-long stutterer.

earliest on record: "Stuttering is probably as old as speech itself. Ancient Egyptian records allude to the disorder, and a fervent prayer to be delivered from it has been found in a cuneiform tablet from Mesopotamia, dating to 2500 B.C...and at the biblical town of Beth Shemish a clay tablet has been unearthed on which may be read the anguished appeal, 'O God! Cut through the backbone of my stuttering. Remove the spring of my impediment.'" B. Bobrick, Knotted Tongues. New York, 1994. p.49

gyral foldings: Gryi are the convoluted foldings, or ridges, found between sulci, or fissures, of brain tissue.

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temporal lobe epilepsy: "The imagery I use in a series of performances called Out of The Body Theatre, is drawn from the world in which I exist during seizures and the madness which comes from my inner storm. During these electrical firings my visions flourish and I hallucinate indescribable smells. I have felt virtual slivers slicing my throat when I draw the air to describe them, yet I am unable to re-capture their intensity with words. My ability to objectify these phenomena is relatively non-existent during an episode, because I am usually absorbed in negotiating basic survival. I have known seizures to come in repetition and last for days. I'm sucked down into the explosion, fumble through the chaos, and land disembodied from the intensity. I blink. "What happened?". It is here, between the insane and the mundane, that I have discovered the utter duality of myself." J. Hall, "Out of the Body Theater." From The Storm was a collection of work by 27 Artists who have Temporal Lobe Epilepsy. The show opened in Boston in 1992 at Do While Studio. http://www.dowhile.org/physical/projects/storm

transcendental feelings: "What creates that transcendental feeling of being one with the universe? It could be the decreased activity in the brain's parietal lobe, which helps regulate the sense of self and physical orientation, research suggests. How does religion prompt divine feelings of love and compassion? Possibly because of changes in the frontal lobe, caused by heightened
concentration during meditation. Why do many people have a profound sense that religion has changed their lives? Perhaps because spiritual practices activate the temporal lobe, which weights experiences with personal significance." S. Vedantam, "Tracing the Synapses of Spirituality." http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A8545-2001Jun15.html

"Deep right temporal lobe and associated limbic lobe structures are clearly linked to human religious experiences of all types, including conversion experiences and near death experiences. Simply because religious experiences are brain based does not automatically lessen or demean their spiritual significance. Indeed, the findings of neurological substrates to religious experiences can be argued to provide evidence for their objective reality. I speculate that our right temporal lobe allows humans to interact with a timeless space-less "non-local" reality." M. Morse, "The Right Temporal Lobe and Associated Limbic Lobe Structures as the Biological Interface With an Interconnected Universe." http://www.melvinmorse.com/e-tlp.htm